Skiing and snowboarding continue to grow in popularity. However, the risk of injury when participating in these sports is relatively high, so good instruction, the right safety equipment and sound healthcare insurance are all prerequisites for an enjoyable winter sports holiday.
David Pryor at MediCare International says, “Always wear appropriate safety equipment and have basic survival training to know what to do if trapped in an avalanche. Good health insurance is a must, as transport to the hospital should be as quick as possible. An extremely high number of injuries take place.”
As people become more aware of the dangers of head injuries, particularly since the tragic death of Natasha Richardson, helmets for skiers and snowboarders are becoming more and more popular. Snowboarding creates 100,000 wrist fractures a year and knee ligament injuries are the most common problem with both skiers and snowboarders on the slopes.
Most national ski associations are calling for helmets to be made compulsory for skiers and snowboarders, so as awareness is raised, this may be a progressively more common site on the ski slopes this winter.
Due to the usually remote areas in which skiing and snowboarding take place, it is important that people have the best possible healthcare when participating in winter sports. It is often the case, particularly with head injuries, that hospital admission is needed, and so the quicker you can get off the slopes the better. This will often include an airlift by helicopter.
Many travel insurance policies do not include winter sports, and if it is included, it is often very basic in its cover. Even private health insurance providers do not always provide cover for winter sports, or if they offer the option, will add a higher premium loading. It is best to check your existing cover to avoid any nasty surprises if and when you need medical help on the slopes.
MediCare International includes winter sports cover for all of its policyholders.